Young Jane Young

  • by Gabrielle Zevin
  • Narrated by Karen White
  • 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Young Jane Young's heroine is Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss - who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married - and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the congressman doesn't take the fall, but Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins. She becomes a late-night talk show punchline; she is slut shamed and considered a blight on politics in general. How does one go on after this?
In Aviva's case, she sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. She tries to start over as a wedding planner, to be smarter about her life, and to raise her daughter to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, she decides to run for public office herself, that long ago mistake trails her via the Internet like a scarlet A. For in our age, Google guarantees that the past is never, ever truly past, that everything you've done will live on for everyone to know about for all eternity. And it's only a matter of time until Aviva's daughter, Ruby, finds out who her mother was and is and must decide whether she can still respect her.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Light, Fluffy, Flawed but Fun

Overall rating: 3 and 1/2 stars.

This is feather-light, fun reading for when you need a break from current events and more serious books, and don't want to have to think too hard.

On the one hand, as my husband (who listened to it with me) summarizes, it's shallow, superficial, childish, and silly. As the cover art suggests, characters are cartoonish and incompletely drawn; think stick-figure sketches, or caricatures at most, not fully realized portraits. Also, the story is more than a little preposterous (e.g., Who would be so traumatized by scandal that she would go so far as to legally change her name and hide so completely from the world that not even her family knows where she is, much less that she has a child...and then expose herself by running for public office?). Plot holes abound, and the author's stylistic choices are often very questionable (e.g., repeating He said, he said, he said, repeatedly; tossing in incongruous elements of magical realism like an invisible talking parrot).

Nevertheless, it's oddly addictive. I almost never finish a truly bad book, and I could not let this one go until I reached the end. Some of the author's wacky choices are quite creative, as in Aviva's final chapter, which is told in the form of a Choose Your Own Adventure story. The author's unfailingly perky style is perfectly suited to the material; she reminds me of an overly caffeinated, chipper-cheerful Hope Davis. Her high energy helped propel the story along, and made it an easy listen.

⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
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- Gretchen SLP

A quick, fun read/listen.

I really liked this book. I first thought it was going to be a mostly humorous book, but found it to have a much deeper story, more guts. Don’t get me wrong.. I laughed out loud or chuckled to myself plenty of times throughout, but it also held my interest because of what Aviva went through and rose above. Plus, Ruby was an enjoyable character. I know it’s fiction, but I applaud a side story of a smart, young person being raised correctly by a single mom! A quick, fun read/listen.
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- Teresa

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-22-2017
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books